Getting Your First Job and Managing Your Finances
One of the hardest things about being an adult is knowing how to manage your personal finances. When you get your first job, those paychecks always seem so enormous. It is not until you actually start paying bills that you realize that those paychecks are nearly as large as you first thought they were.
On top of paying for things like rent and groceries, you are also supposed to be saving money so that someday you will be able to retire.
The key to keeping things straight is really focusing on where your money is going.
As soon as your first month on your first job, the first thing you need to do is create a budget for yourself.
You need to sit down with all of your monthly expenses and determine just how much money you need to make sure that you can cover all of them. For example, if your rent is $600 a month, you should set aside $150 from each week’s paycheck.
You can do the same thing for your car insurance and other fixed monthly expenses. Use your old utility bills to estimate how much you need to set aside to cover things like your electric bill.
One of the things that you can do to help make your budgeting a little easier is to set up a separate checking account for your different expenses.
You can go to the bank and set up an account that you use just for your rent. Each week, after you have gotten paid, you simply deposit your $150 into that account, and the only time you write a check that withdraws money from that account is when you are paying your monthly rent.
Do not get a debit card for this account; you want to make the funds as inaccessible to yourself as you possibly can. Not being able to withdraw cash from the account makes it less likely that you will pull out money when you want to go out for the night.
Once you have sat down and really looked at your monthly expenses, you will be better able to determine if your full-time job is really going to be enough for you to live on.
You need to keep in mind that you need to have enough money left over so that you can also save for retirement and also have a little play money.
If your full-time job is not going to allow you to do all that, you should put some serious consideration into getting a part-time job which will.
Working on the weekends waiting tables or bagging groceries might not seem like much fun, but doing these types of things just two or three evening a week will allow you to save some money and actually start to get ahead.
Besides, the nights that you spend working a part-time job will be nights that you are not spending money which will help you save even more.
Just make sure that you do occasionally take a night off so that you can enjoy yourself. Having money is important, but so is being able to enjoy life.